PIQUA — The Piqua City Schools Board of Education met with a very short agenda on Thursday evening, discussing mostly routine business and hearing updates from the district’s curriculum directors.
Balanced literacy continues to be a curricular focus, according to Director of Curriculum Teresa Anderson, who said that she, along with literacy coach Tina Watts, has been doing walk-throughs at area schools to gauge the degree to which literacy programs are being implemented.
“It’s been quite fun to get back in the classrooms and see what’s happening,” Anderson said.
Anderson also mentioned that schools are using the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS), which allows teachers to determine student’s independent and instructional reading levels.
Scott Bloom, also a curriculum director, added that schools are using Pro-Core, a state curriculum-aligned learning tool designed to help teachers prepare students for success on state tests. Bloom said the tool “mirrors” the American Institute of Research (AIR) test, taking constructive assessments and allowing teachers to adjust their instruction according to the students’ needs in English language arts, math, science and social studies.
Bloom also commented on Piqua Central Intermediate School’s LEGO robotics program, which draws some 40-50 participants every other Tuesday. BOE member Sean Ford said his son, who takes part in the program, “comes home raving every other week about the cool stuff he’s doing.”
Bloom discussed the Garden Tribe school yard garden, where students plant their own flowers and vegetables, and learn about how the latter ends up on their tables. The garden now has 24 beds and the students’ first harvest was radishes.
Superintendent Dwayne Thompson praised the garden project, saying, “It continues to amaze me,” and sharing an anecdote about how his young son proudly brought home a radish — “they’re the size of beets,” Thompson marveled — and insisted the family cut it up and sample it immediately.
In addition, Bloom noted that a new exam, the Cambridge Assessment, will be offered on Oct. 31, with 25 students from approximately six states signed up to take the test, as Piqua is one of the few testing centers in the eastern U.S.
In new business, the board approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of natural gas service from the lowest bid submitted to Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council for the period beginning July 2020 and terminating no later than June 2025. Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Jeremie Hittle said it is too early as of yet to know the complete details of this business transaction.
The next meeting of the PCS Board of Education will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at the board offices, located at 215 Looney Road. BOE meetings can be viewed online at www.piqua.org/Boxcast.aspx.
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3341